This article is inspired by the show Paying for Ease on Messy Adventures in Living.
Is it possible that we value effort and suffering more than ease? Before you answer that, ask yourself: Does ease cost more? Is ease a reward for suffering and effort? hmmmm This seems to be a classic Catch 22, a situation presenting two equally undesirable alternatives. Is there a way out?
Are you willing to pay for ease? Most of us experience a time in our lives when we haven’t had the funds to pay for services that could have made life a little easier. Maybe we assumed we couldn’t afford the help because we forgot there are currencies beyond cash. Perhaps we assumed that the cost would be beyond us instead of actually asking. In any event, we went on to complete a task or purchase the gizmo with effort and/or sacrifice.
I’ve learned many useful skills as a result of not being able to pay for ease!
Have you noticed the “Oooo’s” and “Awwwwww’s” as you tell people about your latest solo effort? Of course you have! The reactions of others become gratifying. It’s a great feeling when your friend or family member expresses their admiration of yet another talent you display. But then … there comes a day when you default to doing everything on your own, simply because you can. You forget to consider that you don’t even like to do that task and your results never quite measure up to your own expectations. The effort and dissatisfaction are irrelevant; doing it yourself and keeping your money is relevant.
Has ease become irrelevant?!
It’s usually about this time that we fall into the someday I’ll have ease mentality. This is the time you gaze longingly into your future to the day that you finally make it and can pay for anything your heart desires, including ease. You begin to generate more money, that you could use to pay for ease, but since you’re in default DIY-mode you don’t. Well, either you don’t bother seeking ease or you go crazy and pay for ease all over the place, and create not affording it again. Aren’t we cute!
We pray for ease, that it may be bestowed upon us – if we are good enough and suffer enough. We work really hard so that one day we may have ease. We make ease a reward for suffering enough. Who actually chooses how much is enough? Surely it would never be us; we’re too busy being brilliant DIY’ers! UGH! Suddenly any money spent for a little ease seems to be a small price to pay for the reduction of stress and self-judgement.
In the words of Theodore Roosevelt “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, and difficulty. I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” It is not noble to have ease. In fact, the people who admired us as we were being brilliant (poor) DIY’ers become the first people to judge us as lazy when we finally do begin paying for ease.
So, how do we choose the ease we so greatly desire and still be acceptable?
Well, I suppose it depends on how much you value being acceptable. Here are a few ways:
Simply choose it for yourself and let other’s jump to whatever conclusions they want about how hard or easy something came to you. Never EVER tell them what or how much you paid for it! You don’t even have to tell anyone you didn’t do it yourself!
Look for the places in your life where you could make things a little easier for yourself. It could be as simple as asking for contribution from your guests for a dinner party to make the preparation easier on you. You know how much you love Martha’s apple pie; ask her to bring one along. I bet she’ll be thrilled to be so inconvenienced and admired for her talents! I’ll bet you get hooked on ease after a few little steps.
In any situation where more ease is possible, ask yourself the following questions:
What is of greater value here: effort or ease?
What would I pay more for: effort or ease?
I know I can do this on my own; do I really desire to do that this time?
What can I do or who can I call to make this easier?
Just because the rest of the world values effort and struggle doesn’t mean you have to. It seems the “ease-iest” way out of the Catch 22 of suffering or paying for ease is to be a rebel, choose ease! You may discover that the investment pays off in more ways than you ever could have imagined!
Listen to the show that inspired this article here.
Find all Messy Adventures in Living shows here.
Written by Carol Glover.